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Old 02-09-2009, 08:08 AM   #15
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Congratulations on such a great acquisition! That trailer is beautiful!! She will be a great project for you as you care for your wife. Be sure to store her somewhere safe and secure and good luck with the decision on the front window.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:21 AM   #16
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Lexan or acrylic may be a better idea for that window.
About the caregiving: you can look at this as decompression therapy .
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post
Thanks, everyone. I'm definitely excited about her.

...

Anybody got any ideas on the fridge? I absolutely love the look of that Marvel that's in there, but it's 110 volt only and I'm sure I'd be much better off with a 2 way. I've done some searching but haven't found much. Wondering if there's any way to replace the guts of the compressor system with those of an gas/elec type. Or I wonder if I might be able to modify a gas/elec unit so it could give up its door and live behind that original Marvel door. Really want to keep that look if I can, but the ability to boondock will be very important to me. I dunno, down the road decisions anyway.

Thanks again for the welcome. Many questions to follow.

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steve
Steve,

I believe that you can purchase the Dann Foss compressor system. Retrofitting that system into your old Marvel may be a challenge. You will then have a modern system which is all electric and will work on both 110V and 12V. You will need a way to keep your batteries charged in order to run the refrigerator on 12V. We installed a Dann Foss powered new refrigerator in our Liner, but have solar panels to keep the batteries charged, when running the fridge on 12V.

Bill
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:11 PM   #18
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Thanks Bill and Marc.

I was looking at Muddy Hollow's thread and what he did with his Marvel along the lines of what you're saying, Bill. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f467...mod-27696.html

I'm hoping there would be a way of doing it with gas instead of a compressor system. My boat has a very efficient 12 volt system. I've got a cold plate and a Danfoss compressor and at least 6 inches of insulation on all sides. It's a really good system. We nautically boondocked for 8 years with no shore power and we managed, but we had 240 watts of solar panels and a wind generator. The fridge eats around 35 amps a day. That is what I'd hope to get away from as I really want the trailer to be able to operate well when it's not plugged in and propane just seems like a better way to go than amps.

I'll have to get in touch with the guy in Everett, Marc, and see what his thoughts are. At this point, I'm thinking the best path might be to use the Marvel door as a false front for a Dometic, if I can find one that would fit the size and manage to get around gasket problems. Just want to save that door if I can to keep that vintage look, particularly as I'm pretty sure I can save all the cabinets and the stove. Anyway, it's down the road and I've got plenty of time to brainstorm it and figure a way to go.

Thanks for the input. I've got all day for the rig tomorrow, so I'll try to post some more detail pics on the inside.

cheers,
steve
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:45 PM   #19
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Steve,

First off great trailer. I love the look.

Secondly, the second weekend of August there is a WBCCI Buddy rally for vintage Airstreams about five minutes north of you, okay, maybe ten. Check out the rally section here.

I'm ten minutes north of Blaine. I redid a '51 Flying Cloud and two of my buddies are just about to get into rebuilds on a '51 and a '53. Both still have the Marvel fridges and are trying to decide what to do but there was a fellow on a Vintage Trailer Forum who had figured out how to adapt the door/front to a late model Dometic. I've trying to find that article for them and if I am successful I'll send it along to you as well.

Take care and welcome aboard. Hope to run into you - if you see a light and dark green colored 1957 Pontiac Safari wagon in town it is us. Don't hesitate to stop us and introduce yourself. We get to Blaine and Lynden a lot.

There is also a vintage trailer (Tin Can Tourists) camp out at Mission, just north of Sumas, June 5th that you might be interested in either to camp or to come look at the trailers, meet some of us, and get ideas.

Barry
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:37 AM   #20
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Thanks, Barry. Got those dates on the calendar, hope we can make them. I'll be on the lookout for your '57 Pontiac in Blaine--don't think we'd miss you.

Hope you can find that article on adapting a Dometic to the Marvel door. The more I look at it, that seems to be the best solution to keeping that cool old door. It sorta makes a solid clunk like a '57 Pontiac door probably does when you close it. Gotta keep it!

Got a few hours of work done yesterday---well, some work and more gawking at cool stuff inside. Old carpet is gone and started pulling the gaucho. There's an old floor repair by the water tank from a leak in it or by it and the floor is just mush up there, but that's no big surprise. I'm sure I'll find some more of that kind of thing.

Mostly just some detail photos here. Pretty neat seeing the serial number popping up on several pieces of cabinetry.

cheers,
steve
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:30 PM   #21
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OMG love your new Island Girl, I saw her on Craig's list and dreamed a little but I see she has a good home and will be well taken care of. Hope to see at a Rally some day.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #22
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End Caps and Marvel Refridgerators

Got some good removal time in today. Got the gaucho out, many of the tiles up forward, cabinet doors. She's parked outside and hasn't had a lock, so I was happy to get a new deadbolt installed today after getting a lock on the hitch earlier in the week. An old floor repair and soft plywood by the old pressure water tank, much of the subfloor is quite soft, but the bits of the frame I've seen from above still have paint on them. I'll try to get the belly pan dropped in a week or so and then I'll have a better idea of what I've got for a frame.

Still gawking at things and I'm wondering about end caps in these years. I've clearly got 13 panels in the rear end cap, but the front one is seamless--is it fiberglass? Looked at RJ Dial's photo's of the various '57 models and it looks like a couple of them might be like mine, but most show the 13 panels (or 7 later in the year). Anyone have any knowledge about what determined the differences?

Barry had mentioned seeing an article about changing a 110 volt Marvel fridge to run on propane and coincidentally I managed to track that down to RJ Dial as well. Found that old post in which he had gotten the Marvel's guts taken out and replaced by an absorption gas/electric unit. I emailed RJ about it and he said if he were to do it again, he'd be more inclined to try to mount a more modern unit behind the Marvel door. That's likely what I'll try to do later on in the process. And Marc, I did get in touch with the repair guy in Everett and he had some good input as well--if there's a will there's a way, he said. We'll find out if the will is strong enough.

cheers,
steve
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post

Barry had mentioned seeing an article about changing a 110 volt Marvel fridge to run on propane and coincidentally I managed to track that down to RJ Dial as well. Found that old post in which he had gotten the Marvel's guts taken out and replaced by an absorption gas/electric unit. I emailed RJ about it and he said if he were to do it again, he'd be more inclined to try to mount a more modern unit behind the Marvel door. That's likely what I'll try to do later on in the process. And Marc, I did get in touch with the repair guy in Everett and he had some good input as well--if there's a will there's a way, he said. We'll find out if the will is strong enough.

cheers,
steve
The piece I had seen was where the fellow (Rob???) on a vintage trailer sight had used a new fridge and adapted the old door to fit it. Whether it was over the old door or completely replaced it I can't quite remember, and I forgot to look today. I'll tackle that tomorrow.

It sounds like you are making good progress Steve. I know when I got started on mine at first I had to keep stopping to take stock of what I'd found and correlate that to what I wanted to do. Eventually, as I figured out what I needed to do to get it done, and realized I had a much tighter time line to finish it than I thought, the ball really got rolling. 5 months of nights and weekends later we were out camping in it, mostly done. I finished up the trinket stuff on the weekends we weren't camping and through the following winter. Now I'm looking at it and thinking I might redo some of it. I've learned a lot from viewing others, mostly at the TCT event in Deming, who have done superior work on theirs to what I've done.

We'll be watching for pictures of yours as you progress Steve.

Barry
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:30 PM   #24
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I'm glad that tip worked out.. more like if there's enough $$... there's a way Not that he's that way.. just how these old Airstream's work out...

Can't wait to read more...
Marc
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:32 PM   #25
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Thanks, Barry, that'd be helpful on the fridge.

Don't look forward to all the ripping out that is coming up, but it's necessary. I really enjoy the planning process, though, and so much of what I do with systems later will be very dependent on things I do very early on in the process. Especially true on this trailer as it's systems are so limited I'll basically be starting over with a clean sheet of paper. Hopefully you guys will steer me in the right direction when I let my boat background get in the way of my thinking. Regardless, it'll be a slow project for me, since I'm so limited on the time I can devote to it. Hopefully I can get past the frame and subfloor state as we head to warmer weather. Once the new floor is in, I'll be able to bring Pam along sometimes to watch me work. That'll get me some more time for it.

cheers,
steve
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:10 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post

Still gawking at things and I'm wondering about end caps in these years. I've clearly got 13 panels in the rear end cap, but the front one is seamless--is it fiberglass? Looked at RJ Dial's photo's of the various '57 models and it looks like a couple of them might be like mine, but most show the 13 panels (or 7 later in the year). Anyone have any knowledge about what determined the differences?
I just looked at the photos, and both front and rear have 13 panels.
Interior caps were probably fiberglass, I'll take a look at a couple of older trailers in the shop and see if it could be plastic.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:49 PM   #27
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Still slowly at work taking things apart. It'd be a lot easier if I didn't want to save the cabinets. I've always disliked slotted screws, but I'm developing a real hatred for the darned things now.

A friend who's been following my progress says I had a really good looking Airstream when I bought it and I've been making it look like a wreck.

Hours spent on trying to take out the old Marvel fridge today and it's still there. Cabinet is about out, but the fridge or at least it's hidden fastener, is still there.

cheers,
steve
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:51 PM   #28
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Well, I've not had any luck finding that article on the refer door. I wish I'd of cut and paste it at the time as it has been a couple of years and now trying to remember all the details is touch and go.

It is funny to see others reactions to what we do with our trailers. Bring what to them looks like a ready to go unit home (and for many it would be fine the way it is) and then we tear it apart. They shake their heads and wonder where they went wrong as friends and neighbors teaching/showing us how to just accept things the way the are. Of course once it is done they are amazed at how good the results look and then just might admit that we actually know what we are doing. Heavy on the "might".

From the look of the pictures you are having great fun. Let us know what is holding the Marvel in when you figure it out. Both my friends are going to be doing the same removal this spring and it will be helpful to be able to just pop my head in the doors after they've busted their butts and say "oh, have you checked.......?".

keep the updates pictures coming,
Barry
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